LEBANON, Tenn.--The Council of Presidents (COP) voted today to postpone the football national championship until spring 2021 after deciding on Tuesday to move men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, and women's volleyball championships to the spring. This decision gives the NAIA conferences the flexibility to play their regular season in the fall, winter, or spring.
By moving the championships to spring, student-athletes will have the possibility of participating in a national championship. Championship dates and locations will be announced later this fall.
“The decision regarding the football championship required additional attention since the sport often operates outside of the regular conference structure,” said Dr. Arvid Johnson, COP Chair and University of St. Francis President. “The extra time allotted was to ensure that the COP representatives had adequate opportunity to gain feedback from their conference colleagues.”
“Moving the football championship to the spring was the right thing to do for the well-being of our student-athletes,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “The decision also provides additional flexibility for our conferences and institutions to account for regional differences and plan their regular season accordingly.”
With the NAIA's announcement, Mid-South Conference officials will begin the process of what regular season and championships will look like for all of its sports in 2020-21. Conferences and institutions were given autonomy to play regular-season games in the fall and winter, ahead of the spring championships, based on regional regulations of COVID-19.